Wonderful walkability & why it matters

5 lakefront parks within 30 minutes

“Location, Location, Location.”  Okay, now add, “Walkability.”

With travelers more health conscious, they increasingly inquire, “Can I get there on foot?”

WalkScore defined

You may have heard about a Seattle-based company called WalksScore. A helpful aid to valuing real estate, they focus on walkability.

Walkscore has developed a large-scale, public access walkability index that assigns a numerical walkability score to any address in America.

With a big-city bias towards urban living, New York City tops their list, with a WalkScore of 89, or very walkable, where Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Small city walkability

In the City of Canandaigua, a neighborhood just one block from downtown earns our highest WalkScore of 80 – and like NYC, very walkable, where again, Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Our principal residence on North Main Street, located a half-mile from downtown Canandaigua, gets a WalkScore of 54Somewhat walkable, where Some errands can be accomplished by foot.  When we’re not at the lake – especially during the weeks the cottage is available for rent – I love walking to work.

Walkability on Canandaigua Lake

Walkability is a positive feature of urban living, but what about lake living?

Can you reconcile away from it all with walkability?

By way of background, I grew up in Woodville, a tiny hamlet on the scenic – but distant – south end of Canandaigua Lake. With a 30-minute drive to get there from Canandaigua, it certainly qualifies as away from it all.

But Woodville’s homes and cottages sit at the base of a huge shale cliff, sharing the very narrow lakefront with NYS Route 21.

Because cars always park on the lakeside of this busy road, if you want to stretch your legs, you’re forced to walk on the pavement. With traffic (including 18-wheel trucks) that often exceed the 30 mph speed limit, pedestrians feel very unsafe.

Though beautiful, Woodville has a WalkScore of 8 – Car Dependent, where Almost all errands require a car. Likely, the only reason it scores that high is because it has a seasonal bar/restaurant on the south end of the lake. I worked there as a teenager.

Years after I left Woodville, we began searching for a cottage of our own. When we discovered a cottage for sale on the northeast shore of Canandaigua Lake, just 400 steps away from the city line, we were elated.

Even in the winter that it was listed for sale, it was easy to reach. We stopped by to see it every time we grocery shopped at Wegmans. After weeks of thinking and debate, we finally decided to buy it.

With the lake right in front, a private golf course in back, on a 10-mph cul-de-sac, it still checks the box for away from it all. Best of all, it’s walkable.

Our cottage location earns a WalkScore of 33, or “car dependent,” where “Most errands require a car.”

“33” sounds low, and it should be higher, because the WalkScore folks way off in Seattle failed to include in their calculation the 7 lakefront parks within a mile of the cottage.

I e-mailed to WalkScore to fix that glitch in their index.

Where can you walk to?

Our WalkScore of 33 is highest of all vacation rental properties on Canandaigua Lake.

And unlike anyplace else on Canandaigua Lake, you don’t need a car at our cottage. One of the things we enjoy here is that we drive less and relax more.

Competing properties on West Lake Road earn a WalkScore of no higher than 3Almost all errands require a car.

While there’s no bad place to stay on the lake, walkability shows the difference between the east or west side:

Within a 30 minute walk from our east side cottage you’ll reach NY Kitchen, 5 lakefront parks, 4 places for wine & beer tastings, shops, CMAC concerts, restaurants, Wegmans and more.

But on the west side, walk 30 minutes and you barely reach NY Kitchen. Worse, your walk there offers no shade trees or lake air to cool you.

Mapping reveals the difference

WalkScore lets you calculate distances and maps for time and travel modes.

From the west side, here’s what your 30-minute walk accomplishes:

30 minute walking range from West Lake Road

Here’s where you can walk in 30 minutes from our cottage:

30 minute walking range from Fallbrook Cove – it’s all nearby!

Here’s what’s in walking distance of our location:

Save time, gas & money at this convenient location

Walkable Canandaigua lakefront

Canandaigua Lake is 16 miles long, with 7 parks concentrated on the north end, within the City of Canandaigua.

Kershaw Park on Canandaigua Lake
Kerhaw Park is a popular walking destination

The chain of lakefront parks, lakeside attractions and the adjacent resorts make the City of Canandaigua the “Chosen Place.”

And at this cottage, it’s all nearby!

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Young Lion Brewing Company

Young Lion Brewing Company

We recently attended a retirement party at Young Lion Brewing Company, located at 24 Lakeshore Drive. While we had previously visited the downstairs tap room and patio, this time the event was on the second floor.

Young Lion Brewing Company is less than a mile from Fallbrook Cove

The second floor was originally built for a restaurant but when that restaurant owner backed out, Young Lion owners decided to fill the void.

The food was good, the service great, but I’m older now, and found the music too loud for conversation. It was raining the night we were there – otherwise we would have relaxed on the second-floor deck, which was available but still wet.

I tried some local unoaked Chardonnay, which I found delicious. The view from the second story room is amazing – the huge windows really capture the lake.

Located in the Pinnacle North mixed-use building overlooking Kershaw Park, Young Lion has an industrial-style vibe, a second-story large events room that has a gorgeous view down Canandaigua Lake, a tap room and an outdoor patio.

Young Lion has an outdoor patio and game area that draws a young crowd

With apartments upstairs, Young Lion draws a young crowd, something I confirmed when I took the next photo – a limo bus with a party of twenty-somethings enjoying the Young Lion selections.

This is a critical demographic for any successful neighborhood, and Young Lion has figured out how to attract the right crowd.

Young Lion is based in the Pinnacle North, a mixed use complex in Canandaigua

You can walk to Young Lion from Fallbrook Cove. Here’s a map:

Young Lion Brewing Company is one mile from Fallbrook Cove

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Lakefront Park

Lakefront Park
The public docks at Lakefront Park on Canandaigua Lake

Lakefront Park is the eastern-most park on Canandaigua Lake’s north shore. Visitors might assume that Lakefront Park is part of Kershaw Park but it’s actually a separate park

Lakefront Park has a public dock donated to the City of Canandaigua. To the east of the public dock you’ll find the Canandaigua Lady, an authentic paddle wheeler.

Here’s how Lakefront Park looks today:

Today, the Canandaigua Lady docks at Lakefront Park on Canandaigua Lake

For several decades, Roseland Park amusement rides operated on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake. Here’s one that I used to ride over the lake:

Former Roseland Park’s Starlighter ride that once ran over Canandaigua Lake

Visit the park and see if you find those two red bases today. I miss the double row of huge willow trees that used to line the path. Those trees are visible on the left side of the photo.

When Roseland closed, developers purchased the land to build a hotel complex. That complex, called Finger Lakes Resort, is now under construction, and will consist of a hotel, restaurant, condominiums and conference center. Here’s how it looked in April, 2019:

Finger Lakes Resort under construction on Canandaigua Lake

The City of Canandaigua bought two surplus parcels from the developer resulting in the creation of Lakefront Park and Lagoon Park.

Here’s a map to Lakefront Park:

Lakefront Park is a half-mile away from Fallbrook Cove

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